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The Relationship between Spiritual Leadership and Issues of


Spirituality and Religiosity: A Study of Top Turkish Managers
Evren Ayranci (Corresponding author)
Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Istanbul Aydin University
Besyol Mah. Inonu Cad. No:40 34295 Sefakoy-Kucukcekmece, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: 90-532-405-4094

E-mail: xonox@mynet.com or evrenayranci@anadolubil.edu.tr


Fatih Semercioz
Faculty of Business, Istanbul University

I.U. Isletme Fakultesi Avcilar Kampusu 34320 Avcilar, Istanbul, Turkey


Tel: 90-532-347-9979
Received: October 20, 2010

E-mail: fsemerci@istanbul.edu.tr

Accepted: November 21, 2010

doi:10.5539/ijbm.v6n4p136

Abstract
In recent years, research focusing on intangible issues in business contexts has flourished. The authors of the
current study aimed to contribute to this research by considering managers in terms of their spiritual leadership,
spirituality and religiosity. This study addresses these concepts and tests a model that assesses the relationships
between the spiritual leadership attributes of top Turkish managers and the spirituality and religiosity of those
individuals. The results reveal four key elements. First, the spiritual leadership of top Turkish managers depends
upon their wisdom and altruism. In addition, their spirituality is comprised of their approach to immateriality and
their spiritual awareness. Furthermore, there are no common factors among spiritual leadership, spirituality and
religiosity. Finally, although the factors that form spiritual leadership, spirituality and religiosity have very weak
and positive relationships, no statistically significant relationship was found between spiritual leadership and the
issues of spirituality and religiosity.
Keywords: Spiritual leadership, Spirituality, Religiosity, Manager, Turkey
1. Introduction
In the current business environment, various abstract concepts play a prominent role. Intangible subjects such as
emotionality, emotional intelligence, emotional capital, intellectuality, intellectual assets, intellectual properties,
religiosity, religious capital, spirituality, spiritual intelligence, spiritual resources and spiritual leadership have
been incorporated into business discussions and relationships. This inclination toward immateriality is also evident
in scientific research on such topics. Some gaps, however, still remain in the relevant literature. Emotional,
intellectual and spiritual topics in business contexts have been addressed in various studies, but religiosity has not
been fully explored. Another gap results from insufficient analyses of the relationships among these topics. Some
studies have considered the relationships among emotional, intellectual, spiritual and religious topics within the
work environment (e.g., Delbecq, 2005; Martin & Hafer, 2009; Tischler, Biberman, & McKeage, 2002; Trott,
1996), but such research has not yet addressed the full implications of these issues.
The authors of the current study aimed to fill these gaps by analyzing the relationships among top Turkish
managers spirituality, spiritual leadership and religiosity. To do this, the authors utilized multiple instruments.
To examine spiritual leadership, the authors drew upon the Spiritual Leadership Scale (Fry, Vitucci, & Cedillo,
2005). The authors applied Booroms (2009) updates to this scale and also rephrased some of its elements.
Another instrument, derived from the INSPIRIT scale (Kass, Friedman, Laserman, Zuttermeister, & Benson,
1991), was used to appraise religiosity. Spirituality was assessed by the items of Amram and Dryers (2008)
integrated spiritual intelligence scale (ISIS). The participants in this research are the top managers of Turkeys
leading 500 industrial enterprises as of 2009.

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Our literature review reveals that numerous studies have considered the emotional and intellectual aspects of
business environments, but spiritual and religious dimensions have not been sufficiently researched. In light of
this gap, the current study makes an important contribution. The authors also considered whether spirituality and
religiosity are the same thing. The current study helps to address this question by examining the relationship
between the two. Furthermore, definitions of spiritual leadership typically include some aspects of spirituality.
However, some studies have presumed that spirituality and spiritual leadership are two distinct concepts. This
study makes the same assumption and includes the relationship between spirituality and spiritual leadership.
Finally, the current study tries to understand how spiritual leadership and religiosity are related to each other.
2. Relationships among spirituality, religiosity and spiritual leadership
2.1 Spirituality: Definitions, spirituality at work and its relations with religiosity
The quest for spirituality has taken many forms. Some see spirituality as the search for an ultimate being
(Heschel, 1955), while others refer to it as the passion that a person has for an ultimate being (Tillich, 1963).
Spirituality may also be understood as actions in service of a perceived ultimate being and a belief of the
permanence of all beings (Allport, 1950). Some newer studies have defined spirituality as living meaningfully
with an ultimate being (Bregman & Thierman, 1995), an existing vital force (Rayburn & Rayburn, 1996) or the
ultimate truth (Wong, 1998). Other studies have defined spirituality as the feeling of being connected to oneself,
to others and to the universe (Mitroff & Denton, 1999) or as an individuals relationship with a higher being
(Benefiel, 2005).
When the word spirituality is used, then words such as ultimate, higher being and universe are typically repeated,
suggesting that spirituality alone involves a permanent divine being. This topic has been the subject of
considerable scholarly discussion. Some debates have focused on the connections between God or religion and
spirituality (Koenig, 1997). Other scholars have focused on inter-connectedness, insisting that spirituality is
actually religiosity, expressed as either the connection between God and oneself (Korac-Kakabadse, Kouzmin, &
Kakabadse, 2002) or the connections between souls (Ashmos & Duchon, 2000).
Conversely, some scholars separate spirituality and religion. Chandler, Holden and Kolander (1992), as well as
Zellars and Perrewe (2003), claimed that religion is a narrow concept that includes specific rituals and codes,
while spirituality is a wider concept of beliefs and values. Howard (2002) similarly argued that religion is a
system of dogma and sanctions that therefore requires faith without much questioning, while spirituality itself
involves questioning ones own life and existence. Hayes (2001) and Dent, Higgins and Wharff (2005) claimed
that religion may be seen as a path to spirituality.
The above-mentioned studies considered religion as a system of rules and specific applications. These rules and
applications may vary for different religions. Meanwhile, spirituality has definite and consistent purposes for
people across different religions, such as looking for the meaning of life (Howard, 2002), tapping into spiritual
resources to find happiness (Mitroff & Denton, 1999), attaining and exerting spiritual values such as forgiveness,
kindness, integrity, empathy and honesty (Kriger & Seng, 2005) and trying to obtain a sense of well-being
(Grant, 2008). Dalai Lama XIV (1999) summarized the distinction between spirituality and religion, stating that
religion is a tradition, fed by faith, dogma and prayers, that accepts some sort of heaven. Spirituality, on the other
hand, addresses the quality of the human spirit, which should be considered beyond any specific religion and
which should have the purpose of bringing happiness to oneself and to others (Dalai Lama XIV, 1999).
This study is focused on a work context, and thus, the term workplace spirituality should also be explored. The
concept of workplace spirituality emerged in the 1990s (Conlin, 1999), and the literature reveals debates about
the inclusion of religion in workplace spirituality, just as in the larger case of spirituality. When spirituality is
added into work contexts, religion usually comes to mind again. For example, Delbecq (2005) found that, in
managers opinions, organizational leaders do not have to distinguish between spirituality and religion.
According to Dent et al. (2005), workplace spirituality is actually a framework of organizational values that can
lead workers to think that they are connected with each other as a whole and they should transcendence on their
works. Significantly, these organizational values may also include religious thoughts. Trott (1996) adopted a
broader approach than Dent et al. and contended that workplace spirituality consists not only of organizational
values, but also includes the use of prayers, religion, meditation and yoga to cope with the work environment. In
a similar sense, Sutcliffe and Bowman (2000) insisted on using a combination of religion and psychology in the
workplace, while Briskin (1998) advocated the facilitation of spiritual resources by focusing on a permanent
divine being.
As indicated by the sources referenced above, workplace spirituality (like spirituality) is generally related to
religiosity. However, some studies prefer to exclude religion and focus on other factors. For example, Shaw
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(1999) defined workplace spirituality as having a positive mood in the work context, while Wheaton and Baird
(2002) focused on the spiritual values of people in the workplace. Meanwhile, Mohamed, Wisnieski, Askar and
Syed (2004) insisted that spirituality is a part of the personality of people in work contexts. Ashmos and Duchon
(2000) favored the separation of workplace spirituality and religiosity, but they still mentioned religious rules.
The two scholars claimed that workplace spirituality is not about religion but is a cognitive acceptance of
common rules that do not conflict with any religious belief systems.
With or without religiosity, workplace spirituality may be summarized as the awareness that workers have inner
lives that must be fed by meaningful work for the good of society (Duchon & Plowman, 2005; Kubicek, 2005).
2.2 From spirituality to spiritual leadership
The relationships between (workplace) spirituality and religiosity have been summarized thus far. Connections
between spirituality and leadership will be explored next. The authors conclude that the literature review reveals
three different approaches to these connections. In the first approach, spirituality is injected into leadership to
describe specific leadership types. A good example of this approach is servant leadership. This type of
leadership, introduced by Greenleaf (1977), is exemplified by a leader who follows spiritual values to serve other
people, both in his or her own organization and in the community. Spears (1996) and Hale and Fields (2007)
claimed that servant leadership is simply helping other people to discover their spirituality in order to promote
altruism and trust in others. Some scholars (e.g., Beazley, 2002; Beazley & Gemmill, 2005) have found that the
spirituality of leaders and their servant-leader behaviors have positive relationships.
Covey (1989, 1991) also contributed to the discussion of spirituality in leadership. The scholar coined the term
principle-centered leaders to identify those who are willing to serve others while obeying natural rules and
universal principles. These leaders help and believe in other people, encourage optimism, establish inner
(spiritual) balance in their lives, try to unleash talent and creativity in others in the workplace and seek to
rejuvenate themselves in order to cope with environmental changes and pressures.
Fleming (2004) provided another useful example of infusing spirituality into leadership. The researcher
examined the spirituality of historical and modern leaders, including Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Moses,
Muhammad, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Khomeini, King and Mandela. Flemings study led to a discussion of
soulful leadership, which considers ways to use spirituality to transform oneself in order to achieve greater
meaning in life.
The second approach to relating spirituality and leadership requires an acceptance that these two concepts are
distinct and that therefore their relationships should be analyzed while presuming that they do not share any
common points. This second approach is different because the first method assumes that spirituality is found
within specific kinds of leadership. When the two concepts are viewed as separate entities, scholars approach
them differently. Spirituality is asserted to increase leadership effectiveness (Peters & Waterman, 1984), and
spirituality and transformational leadership are inter-related (Marinoble, 1990). A leaders spirituality affects his
organization and workers (Geaney, 2003). Transformational leadership is linked with a leaders spirituality, and
spirituality also fosters mutual trust between a leader and his followers (Conger, 1994). The leader may also
depend on his or her own spiritual resources to develop an environment in which others can feed on spirituality
(Konz & Ryan, 1999).
The third approach to evaluating the connections between spirituality and leadership is the formation of spiritual
leadership. The concept of spiritual leadership is different from the models summarized previously because it is
not a leadership type with spirituality injected into it. That is, the aforementioned leadership types use spirituality
as a means to reach specific goals such as increased efficiency and profitability in a business context (Hicks,
2003; Swayne, Duncan, & Ginter, 2006). Spiritual leadership, however, claims that spirituality is not a means,
but is rather an attribute of the leader. Therefore, the spiritual leader need not affect others with spirituality, but
instead should move on with others (Blanchard, 1999). Thus, spiritual leadership is not simply a type of
leadership. The very mind of the leader has shifted, and this shifted mind affects the leader and others (Fairholm,
1998). The spiritual leader, therefore, may depend on the spiritual resources of his or her shifted mind while
leading followers (Korac-Kakabadse et al., 2002) and while uniting workers towards a mission and vision
(Fairholm, 1998). This mental shift may also create a shift in the leaders role from manager to spiritual guide
(Konz & Ryan, 1999).
2.3 The connections between religiosity and spiritual leadership
As mentioned previously, the relationship between religiosity and spirituality has been the subject of
considerable debate. The literature reveals a similar debate between religiosity and spiritual leadership. Some

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studies have used religiosity to consider spiritual leadership. For example, Fry (2003) argued that spiritual
leaders deploy spiritual resources in social contexts; they follow Gods will by obeying divine or higher laws
(values) in their daily lives. Blackaby and Blackaby (2001) argued that most people who consider themselves
spiritual leaders are not truly spiritual. These individuals are too concerned with secularity and thus do not
comprehend that spiritual leadership is not a job. Spiritual leadership is, in fact, leadership according to Gods
calling. Focusing on God with more eagerness, Sanders (1988) claimed that the criteria for becoming a spiritual
leader include confidence in and acknowledgement of God, obedience to God, adherence to Gods path and
motivation based on the love of God. Many other scholars (e.g., Barton & Ford, 2008; Sparks, 2008; Wilson &
Cresswell, 2001) have also advocated this emphasis on religion in the discussion of spiritual leadership.
On the other side, some studies have used secularity to define spiritual leadership. One proponent is Fairholm
(1998), who claimed that an individuals core values and high levels of inner moral standards lie at the heart of
that persons spiritual leadership. The scholar also set out components of spiritual leadership and contended that
these components do not include any specific religion. Hicks (2003) emphasized that workplaces may contain
many leaders and followers of different faiths and that therefore the leaders must discard religion in order to
become spiritual guides. This view is also shared by Cavanagh (1999), who suggested that religiosity distracts
people, such that individuals in the workplace must reduce their religions to core values in order to communicate.
Cavanaugh suggested that this leads management and leadership to appeal to peoples spirituality rather than the
rules and dogma of religion. Goethals and Sorenson (2006) moved one step further and argued that the use of
religion to manage or lead people in the workplace may easily result in conflict. Emphasis on a specific religion
can cause people of the same religion to feel privileged, while those of other religions feel marginalized. This
inequality may be corrected only by respecting people with different religions and considering their shared
values (Goethals & Sorenson, 2006). These cautionary statements imply that the separation of religiosity and
spiritual leadership is not only a necessity but that it may also be an imperative for the good of the company.
This secular approach to spiritual leadership is shared by many other scholars (e.g., Roka, 2006).
Instead of taking a stand on the use of religiosity to consider spiritual leadership, some scholars have assumed
that spiritual leadership can exist with or without pointing to religiosity. Fernando (2007) suggested that three
distinct types of spirituality may be considered when referring to spiritual leadership. The spiritual resources of a
spiritual leader may be based on religion, values or self-growth. From a broader perspective, Fryling and
Peterson (2010) described spiritual leadership as an ellipse. The ellipse has two focal points: one point represents
inner spiritual life and relation to God; the other point signifies ones physical existence and actions in the world.
House and Durham (1997) argued that spiritual leadership has historically been related to God, but it is also
increasingly being related to secular success in todays world.
2.4 Intersections of religiosity and spirituality
The studies in this section demonstrate that religiosity, spirituality and spiritual leadership have some
connections. The authors also understand that the literature includes some concepts that serve as intersections of
religiosity and spirituality. In other words, the relevant literature supports the notion that religiosity and
spirituality are related (as explained previously), but the literature also references some concepts that are actually
mixtures of religiosity and spirituality. An appropriate example is religious human capital, a concept introduced
by Iannaccone (1990) that is defined as a persons religious knowledge level and feeling of connectedness with
other worshipers. This definition resembles the definition of spirituality put forth by Mitroff and Denton (1999)
in terms of feeling connected. Stark and Finke (2000) modified religious human capital by downplaying social
relationships with other worshipers and by focusing on connectedness with a divine being. This modification
does not separate religious human capital from spirituality, as some definitions of spirituality (e.g., Benefiel,
2005) include a connection with a higher being. Some studies (e.g., Finke, 2003; Miller, 2002) have summarized
religious human capital as the combination of religious knowledge, connection with both a higher being and a
persons inner-self and a set of religious applications. Connection with a higher being is also a part of spirituality
(Benefiel, 2005; Bregman & Thierman, 1995; Mitroff & Denton, 1999), and a focus on ones inner-self is also a
feature of the spirituality of spiritual leaders (Fairholm, 1998; Fryling & Peterson, 2010).
Another related concept is spiritual human capital. Spiritual human capital (or spiritual capital) resembles
religious human capital in terms of connectedness (Iannaccone & Klick, 2003; Marler & Hadaway, 2002). Yet
some scholars (e.g., Liu, 2008; Zohar & Marshall, 2004) have suggested that these two capitals differ in terms of
spiritual belief, knowledge and closeness to God. Iannaccone and Klick (2003) reasoned that spiritual capital is a
superset of religious capital but also a subset of human capital. According to a similar view, spiritual capital is a
combination of power, influence, knowledge and dispositions gained via a religious tradition (Berger & Hefner,

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2003). Liu (2008) defined spiritual capital as the power and influence that are created by a persons or
organizations spiritual and religious beliefs and knowledge.
2.5 A summary about the mentioned relationships and the current situation of the relevant Turkish literature
In summary, the literature review reveals that there are relationships between religiosity, spirituality and spiritual
leadership. These relationships may be between two equivalent concepts (e.g., the relationship between
leadership and spirituality), or they may include one concept that is used to define or construct another concept
(e.g., using religiosity to explain spirituality). Alternatively, the relationship may take the form of a connection
between a superset and a subset (e.g., seeing spirituality as a wider concept that also includes religion). Moreover,
the concepts of religious and spiritual human capital imply that some elements of religiosity and spirituality may
be combined.
At this point, the authors proceed with an examination of relevant Turkish studies, as the current study was
performed in Turkey. Our Turkish literature review indicates that religiosity has not been considered in a Turkish
business context, but a few studies have considered spirituality and leadership. A good example was provided by
Bekis (2006), who examined the relationship between spirituality and leadership and found that managers
spiritual abilities can affect charismatic, transformational, visionary and team leadership styles. Meanwhile,
Kurtar (2009) reviewed Frys spiritual leadership survey and contended that the survey is applicable to Turkish
cases with some minor revisions. Akar (2010) stated that spiritual leadership can be applied in educational
organizations. A study by Dogan and Sahin (2009) revealed that emotionality and spirituality can affect
transformational leadership. Aydin and Ceylan (2009) researched spiritual leadership in Turkish metalworking
firms and concluded that such firms are finance-focused, rendering spiritual leadership ineffective as an
organizational strategy. Baloglu and Karadag (2009) also reviewed spiritual leadership literature and described it
in relation to Frys spiritual leadership theory. In short, empirical Turkish studies have reported some
relationships between leadership and spirituality, while theoretical Turkish studies have focused on the
assessment and possible applications of spiritual leadership theory.
3. Methodology
3.1 Population, sample, data collection and measures of the research
Any business manager may possess certain forms and degrees of religiosity, spirituality and leadership abilities.
For this reason, the authors conclude that this research could apply to any business. However, the vast number of
businesses in Turkey makes it impossible to consider all Turkish businesses as the population.
Despite this fact, the authors sought to establish a population that could be sufficiently representative of the
Turkish business environment. The Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) publishes a list of the top 500 Turkish
industrial enterprises each year. The authors elected to use the latest list, released in 2009, to establish the study
population. In this case, the population consists of the top managers of the top 500 industrial enterprises in
Turkey.
This
list
is
available
to
the
public
(http://www.iso.org.tr/tr/web/besyuzbuyuk/turkiye-nin-500-buyuk-sanayi-kurulusu--iso-500-raporunun-sonuclari
.html). The authors sought out contact information for each business and succeeded in obtaining data for 471
businesses.
The questionnaires used to gather data included items from three different scales. The items of spiritual
leadership were drawn from the spiritual leadership scale (Fry et al., 2005). The authors applied Booroms
(2009) updates to the spiritual leadership items and also revised some items for clarity. Religiosity was assessed
using some items from the INSPIRIT scale (Kass et al., 1991), and spirituality was evaluated using elements
from the ISIS (Amram & Dryer, 2008).
To increase the response rate, the authors distributed the questionnaires by both e-mail and mail. The authors
also worked with a consulting company to physically distribute and collect questionnaires from top managers
who did not respond to e-mailed or mailed questionnaires.
3.2 Statistical structures and reliabilities of religiosity, spirituality and spiritual leadership
Some managers refused to complete the questionnaires, and some completed questionnaires included a high
number of errors. For these reasons, 408 questionnaires were deemed acceptable at the end of the data-gathering
process. Data collection began on 2 August, 2010, and ended on 24 September, 2010.
The authors applied exploratory factor analysis to determine the dependent factors for the concepts of religiosity,
spirituality and spiritual leadership. An important concern is whether these three concepts will share common
factors. Prior to analysis, variables with a high number of missing values were excluded. In addition, the

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correlation table of the variables was analyzed to omit variables with problematic relationships (Field, 2005).
The exploratory factor analysis showed that the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure was 0.871 and that Bartletts test
was significant, suggesting that the data are suitable for factor analysis. Five factors were extracted, and they can
explain 70.87% of the total variance. Table 1 shows these factors and their respective items. The five factors
were named by the authors.
Please note that the items in Table 1 were written in Turkish on the questionnaires; translation into English may
have produced slight changes in meaning. The five factors are summarized as:
Wisdom: Significance of the work and leadership activities to the leader; leaders honesty, pride and faith;
spiritual concerns of the leader; feeling of connection to the business; and assessment of ones own life.
Altruism: Devotion to and effort for the business; the acts of guarding, appreciating and inspiring employees;
being loyal, trustworthy, kind and considerate to workers; leaders consistency in the workplace; and the struggle
to make a difference via leadership.
Immateriality: The connection and affinity of the person with the metaphysical world.
Spiritual awareness: Being aware of a higher being; harmonizing with a higher being; and feeling like a part of
a greater wholeness.
Religiosity: Feeling religious; being close to God; and engaging in religious or spiritual activities.
Table 2 presents the results of the reliability analyses of the factors described above. According to this table, all
of the factors and the items as a whole are statistically reliable.
Some facts are revealed by the results of the factor and reliability analyses. Two factors, wisdom and altruism of
the leader, can be formed using modified items from the spiritual leadership scale. In this case, the authors
conclude that spiritual leadership is actually a reflection of a leaders wisdom and altruism. Two other factors,
immateriality and spiritual awareness, include items from the integrated spiritual intelligence scale. Therefore,
the participants spirituality is a reflection of their consciousnesses of a higher being, a whole entity, as well as
their interest in the immaterial world. Religiosity is represented by only one factor, whose items are drawn from
the INSPIRIT scale.
In summary, spirituality and spiritual leadership each have two factors and religiosity has only one factor.
Significantly, these concepts have no common factors.
3.3 The relationships between religiosity, spirituality and spiritual leadership
This study includes three concepts, and one of its main concerns is understanding the relationships among them.
For this reason, the authors reviewed the relevant literature to determine whether a model including these
concepts together has been used before. As previously stated, few studies have considered these three concepts
together, and those studies did not provide any models. Therefore, the authors propose a model (Figure 1)
employing structural equation modeling (SEM).
According to the model displayed in Figure 1, spiritual leadership is a second-level factor, composed of two
factors (wisdom and altruism of the leader). The authors grouped the factors of spirituality and religiosity
together and formed another second-level factor, spirituality and religiosity, because the connections between
spiritual leadership and the two other concepts (spirituality and religiosity) are a primary concern in this study.
Using SEM, the relationships between each concepts factors can be analyzed.
The model is realistic (RMSEA [Note 1]: 0.083), and the relationships among items and factors were all
statistically significant, with one exception. The relationship between spiritual leadership and spirituality and
religiosity is very weak (correlation value = 0.02) and is not statistically significant (t-value = 1.81), suggesting
that no meaningful connection exists. In other words, the first result produced by this research shows that
spiritual leadership is not related to spirituality and religiosity, if spirituality and religiosity are grouped as one
concept - spirituality and religiosity.
Table 3 shows the contribution of each factor to its respective concept. According to Table 3, wisdom of the
leader is the main contributor to spiritual leadership. The other concepts, spirituality and religiosity, are linked
most strongly with immateriality, followed by spiritual awareness and religiosity, respectively. Notably, all
factors contribute positively to their respective concepts.
Finally, Table 4 shows the correlations between the factors and the concepts. The results show that the
relationship between the two concepts - spiritual leadership and spirituality and religiosity - is not statistically
significant. The situation, however, is different when the relationships between each factor and each concept are

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analyzed (Table 4). This analysis reveals positive and statistically significant relationships. The altruism of the
leader has a strong correlation with spirituality and religiosity; while a similar, although weaker, relationship
connects the wisdom of the leader with spirituality and religiosity. The factors of spirituality (immateriality and
spiritual awareness) and religiosity also have weak relationships with spiritual leadership.
4. Conclusions and Discussion
One of the concerns of this study is the connection of top managers spiritual leadership with issues such as their
spirituality and religiosity. The results show that these issues together are not significantly related to top
managers spiritual leadership. This result may stem from many issues. The authors grouped the factors of
spirituality and religiosity; the relationship between this grouping and spiritual leadership was considered in
building the research model. This grouping may explain the insignificant relationship, as religiosity may not be
as relevant to spiritual leadership issues. At this point, one might consider isolating religiosity and analyzing the
relationship between spiritual leadership and spirituality alone. Because this study included religiosity within its
scope, however, that examination is impossible.
The result herein may also arise from the distinctions employed. As stated previously, some studies have
distinguished between spiritual leadership and spirituality. In other words, some scholars have posited that
spiritual leadership is not equivalent to leadership with an injection of spirituality. To explore this distinction, a
proper approach requires an analysis of the relationships among the factors of spirituality and spiritual leadership.
Such an analysis revealed that the factors of spirituality (immateriality and spiritual awareness) do have
statistically significant relationships with spiritual leadership, but these relationships are very weak. In this case,
the authors of this study conclude that the research favors the third approach to the relationship between
spirituality and leadership, which holds that spirituality and spiritual leadership are two distinct concepts.
A similar result was achieved when the relationship between the one factor of religiosity and spiritual leadership
was examined: a statistically significant, yet very weak, relationship exists between these two. This relationship
is weaker than those between the factors of spirituality and spiritual leadership, which suggests that there is a
greater distance between spiritual leadership and religiosity.
If the relationships are examined from a spiritual leadership perspective, some differences emerge. In other
words, the relationships between the factors of spiritual leadership (the wisdom and altruism of the leader) and
the issues of spirituality and religiosity differ from the relationships explained in the previous paragraph. Both
the wisdom and altruism of the leader have positive and significant relationships with spirituality and religiosity.
These relationships are also stronger than those between spiritual leadership and the factors of spirituality and
religiosity. This means that the top managers wisdom and altruistic leadership properties are close to spirituality
and religiosity. Notably, altruism has the strongest relationship; i.e., the more willing the top manager is to
transfer his or her own benefits to others, the more committed that person is to religiosity, immateriality and
spiritual awareness.
Among the relationships between the factors and the concepts, the weakest ones include religiosity. Not only
does religiosity have the weakest connection with spiritual leadership, it also has the weakest connection with its
own concept spirituality and religiosity. This implies that top Turkish managers are inclined to separate issues
of spirituality and religiosity.
In conclusion, this research found that spiritual leadership is a distinct concept. Spiritual leadership is not
significantly related to spirituality and religiosity, although the factors that make up these concepts have some
positive and weak relationships. The results also reveal that religiosity is not closely connected to spirituality or
spiritual leadership.
The authors believe that the relationships between the concepts addressed in this study represent a new
contribution to the literature, and therefore, some recommendations regarding future studies should be made.
This study was not limited to a single religion in considering religiosity, but future studies may focus on specific
religions. Such studies may try to analyze how possible variations among religions impact religiosity and how
this affects its relationships with spirituality and spiritual leadership. The authors of this study have generalized
the approaches to conceptualizing spiritual leadership, explaining that this leadership is defined through three
different approaches in the literature. Future studies may also analyze these approaches or may try to find new
approaches to spiritual leadership. Understanding the possible effects of different approaches on the connections
of spiritual leadership with the issues of spirituality and religiosity may also prove interesting. Another
recommendation concerns spirituality. As mentioned previously, the literature is divided on whether religiosity
should be included when studying spirituality. The authors of the current study performed an exploratory factor
analysis in searching for common factors between spirituality and religiosity. The results indicate that these two
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concepts are not mixed. This result may, however, reflect the manner in which spirituality was assessed. Similar
studies in the future may benefit from different approaches to spirituality in order to relate it to religiosity and
spiritual leadership. The authors also recommend the selection of different participants in future studies. This
study included data from the top managers of Turkeys greatest industrial enterprises in an effort to understand
the relationships between spiritual leadership and issues of spirituality and religiosity. In the future, the same
relationships may analyzed using data from entry-level or mid-level managers. These relationships might also be
considered with comparisons between different management levels. As a final recommendation, the authors
suggest the development of new instruments concerning the concepts of spiritual leadership, spirituality and
religiosity. Such new instruments may focus on only one of these concepts, or they may include multiple
concepts simultaneously. For example, an instrument may assess the spirituality of people with partial reference
to religiosity. These instruments may also be imbued with different issues, such as cultural or social attributes,
while assessing the aforementioned concepts.
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Note
Note 1. For model reality under SEM and the subject of fit indices, see: Schermelleh-Engel, Karin, Moosbrugger,
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Table 1. Exploratory factor analysis results


Rotated Component Matrixa
Component
Wisdom Altruism Immateriality
I am honest and without false pride.

0.960

The work I do as a leader is meaningful to me.

0.957

I have faith in myself as a leader.

0.947

My leadership activities are personally meaningful to


me.

0.945

I think that I am a spiritual person.

0.944

My life is ideal in many ways.

0.929

I use some spiritual methods (prayers, meditation, yoga,


etc.) to rejuvenate.

0.917

If I could live my life over again, I would not change


anything.

0.910

My spiritual values affect the choices I make about


business issues.

0.889

I feel strongly that I am a part of my business as a leader.

0.886

I have obtained the important things that I want in my


life.

0.871

I walk the walk as well as talk the talk as a leader in


business context.

0.926

I try to make a difference in peoples lives through my


leadership.

0.923

I feel that I sufficiently appreciate the subordinates I


lead.

0.922

I am willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that my


business accomplishes its mission.

0.920

I am trustworthy and loyal to all subordinates.

0.907

I care about the people I lead.

0.851

I persevere and exert extra effort within the business I


lead to help the business succeed because I have faith in
what the business stands for.

0.825

I demonstrate my faith in my business and its mission by


doing everything I can to help us succeed.

0.825

I have the courage to stand up for my subordinates.

0.762

My personal vision inspires my subordinates best


performance.

0.752

I am kind and considerate towards my subordinates.

0.706

My leadership makes subordinates feel highly regarded.

0.663

I set challenging goals for my work because I have faith


in my business and want us to succeed.

0.576

I am aware of a wiser or higher self in me that I listen to


for guidance.

0.807

I derive meaning from the pain and suffering in my life.

0.799

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Religiosity
awareness

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My goals and purpose extend beyond the material world.

0.785

In my day-to-day tasks, I pay attention to things that


cannot be put into words, such as indescribable sensual
or spiritual experiences.

0.764

My actions are aligned with my soul - my essential, true


nature.

0.764

I listen deeply to both what is being said and what is not


being said.

0.707

I listen to my gut feeling or intuition in making


important choices.

0.686

I pay attention to my dreams to gain insight to my life.

0.684

My actions are aligned with my values.

0.635

In my day-to-day activities, I align my purpose with


what is wanted and needed in the world.

0.544

A higher consciousness reveals my true path to me.

0.953

I live in harmony with a force greater than myself - a


universal life force, a divine being or nature - to act
spontaneously and effortlessly.

0.875

I feel like part of a larger cosmic organism or greater


whole.

0.861

In my daily life, I feel that my work is in service to the


larger whole.

0.845

To gain insights in daily problems, I take a wide view or


holistic perspective.

0.706

I use objects or places as reminders to align myself with


what is sacred.

0.631

I think that I am a religious person.

0.956

I feel close to God.

0.945

I follow God.

0.944

I engage in religious or spiritual activities (prayer,


0.916
meditation, yoga, etc.).
Note: Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis; Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.
a = rotation converged in five iterations.
Table 2. Reliability analyses results
Factor
Cronbachs alpha value
Wisdom
0.985
Altruism
0.950
Immateriality
0.903
Spiritual awareness
0.866
Religiosity
0.964
All of the items
0.878
Table 3. Relationships between factors and their respective concepts
Factor
Wisdom
Altruism
Immateriality
Spiritual awareness
Religiosity
148

Concept
Spirituality and Religiosity
8.36
2.77
1.09

Spiritual Leadership
5.66
1.12
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Table 4. Correlations between factors and concepts


Factor
Wisdom
Altruism
Immateriality
Spiritual awareness
Religiosity

Concept
Spirituality and Religiosity
0.16
0.48
----

Spiritual Leadership
--0.11
0.10
0.06

Figure 1. Proposed research model


Spirit_L: Spiritual Leadership, SP_REL: Spirituality and Religiosity, Wisdom_L: Wisdom of the leader,
Altruism: Altruism of the leader, Immat: Immateriality, Spirit_A: Spiritual awareness, Religi: Religiosity, Q:
Question number in the questionnaire.

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